Alex van Halen Biography

Alexander Arthur van Halen, better known as Alex van Halen, is a Dutch-born American musician and one of the founding members of the iconic hard rock band Van Halen. Alongside his brother Eddie, nephew Wolfgang, and David Lee Roth, Alex has played a pivotal role in shaping the band’s sound and success. Born in Amsterdam, he moved to the United States at a young age and was exposed to music from an early age due to his father’s jazz background. Initially trained in classical piano, Alex eventually found his passion for drumming and helped form Van Halen in 1974. With their unparalleled talent and energy, the band became one of the most influential rock acts of all time, selling over 80 million albums worldwide and earning prestigious accolades such as the Grammy Award for Best Hard Rock Performance.

Quick Facts

  • Also Known As: Alexander Arthur Van Halen
  • Age: 70 Years, 70 Year Old Males
  • Family:
    • Spouse/Ex-: Stine Schyberg (m. 2000), Kelly Van Halen (m. 1984–1996), Valeri Kendall (m. 1983–1983)
    • Father: Jan van Halen (1920–1986)
    • Mother: Eugenia van Beers (1914–2005)
    • Children: Aric Van Halen, Malcolm Van Halen
  • Born Country: Netherlands
  • Drummers
  • Hard Rock Musicians
  • Height: 6’0″ (183 cm), 6’0″ Males
  • Ancestry: Dutch American
  • Notable Alumni: Pasadena City College
  • City: Amsterdam, Netherlands
  • More Facts
  • Education: Pasadena City College

Childhood & Early Life

Alex van Halen was born on May 8, 1953, in Amsterdam, Netherlands. His father, Jan van Halen, was a renowned jazz saxophonist and clarinet player, while his mother, Eugenia van Beers, had moved to the Netherlands from Indonesia. Alex lived in Nijmegen in the early years of his life before moving to Pasadena, California, in 1962. Both Alex and his younger brother, Eddie, later obtained US citizenships. They were both taught classical piano, but Alex wanted to be a guitarist and Eddie played the drums. However, Alex ended up becoming a better drummer than Eddie, so they switched roles.

Alex attended Pasadena High School in California and then enrolled at Pasadena City College, studying music theory, scoring, composition, and arranging. However, he did not complete his education and dropped out of college.

Career

Before the formation of Van Halen, Alex and Eddie were part of several groups, including The Broken Combs, The Space Brothers, The Trojan Rubber Company, and Mammoth. Mammoth was formed in 1972, with Alex on the drums, Eddie on lead vocals, and Mark Stone on the bass. They eventually changed their name to Van Halen in 1974, and Michael Anthony joined the group. They released their self-titled first album in 1978 and went on to release 11 more studio albums, along with live albums, compilation albums, and singles.

Alex is known for coming up with the phrase “Brown sound,” which originally referred to the sound of his snare drum. He has cited drummers like Billy Cobham, Ginger Baker, Keith Moon, John Bonham, and Buddy Rich as his influences.

Major Works

Van Halen’s self-titled first album is considered one of the strongest debuts in rock music history. It includes classic tracks like “Runnin’ With the Devil,” “Eruption,” “You Really Got Me,” and “Ain’t Talkin’ ‘Bout Love.” The album has been certified 4xPlatinum by Music Canada and Diamond by the RIAA.

Family & Personal Life

Alex van Halen has been married three times in his life. His first marriage to Valeri Kendall ended in divorce in 1984. He was then married to Kelly from 1984 to 1996, and they have a son named Aric. Since 2000, he has been married to Stine Schyberg, and they have two children, including a son named Malcolm. Alex quit drinking after the death of his father in 1986 and has been sober since. He is also an ordained minister and officiated Eddie’s wedding in 2009.

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